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    MIDEAST SETTLEMENT: NO NEED FOR MORE INITIATIVES, SAYS RUSSIA'S FOREIGN MINISTER

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    MOSCOW, JANUARY 21, RIA NOVOSTI - Russia does not think there is need for whatever new Mideastern settlement initiatives. The situation demands conditions to guarantee the Road Map implemented, said Igor Ivanov, Russia's Minister of Foreign Affairs, after negotiations with Nabil Shaath, his Palestinian counterpart.

    The Road Map settlement plan was offered by the four international mediators. The United Nations Security Council approved it in Resolution No. 1515. Its implementation, however, is marking time. Things have come into a deadlock, and the developments leave the conflicting parties and the whole world equally dissatisfied.

    Things will get more complicated with every passing day. As Russia sees it, the situation demands more efforts by the involved parties and the entire world to get out of the cul-de-sac and start implementing the Road Map, said Mr. Ivanov.

    He hopes Russia's partners on the mediation quartet-the USA, the United Nations and the European Union-will be dynamic in their assistance to Moscow to promote the Road Map coming true.

    Nabil Shaath said he agreed with Igor Ivanov. "We are not interested in any new initiatives coming up. What we want is a political impetus to promote Road Map implementation and the regional peace cause," he stressed.

    Palestine is weighing the various alternative ways to guarantee such political progress. These are considered in the context of forthcoming inter-Arab summitry in Tunisia, and of teamwork with the USA and European countries as Palestine's partners. International organisations are also to do their bit for just peace in the Middle East, said the minister.

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